SINGAPORE - The man who led an elite team of rescuers into a Circle Line construction site at Nicoll Highway when it collapsed in 2004 will be the next chief executive (CE) of the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (Muis).
Mr Kadir Maideen, former assistant commissioner of the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) and one-time commander of the Disaster Assistance and Rescue Team (Dart), will be appointed CE-designate of Muis from Sept 20.
The 54-year-old will helm Muis as its third CE from Nov 1, the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth (MCCY) said in a statement on Friday (Sept 17).
Mr Kadir is currently the deputy chief executive of Muis and has more than 27 years of experience in the public service.
He was seconded from the SCDF in January this year, where he was involved in the implementation of its transformation plans.
He was also co-chairing a committee working on the new HomeTeamNS clubhouse at Bedok, which features Singapore's longest indoor water slide.
MCCY said that as deputy chief executive of Muis, Mr Kadir has overseen its strategic engagement, education and human resource functions.
He is also the chairman of the M3 initiative in Bedok, which was launched in April 2019 to support the needs of the Malay/Muslim community in Bedok Town.
M3 is a tie-up between Muis, self-help group Mendaki and the People's Association Malay Activity Executive Committees Council.
"He has built close connections with the community and mobilised stakeholders to undertake outreach and develop programmes," said the ministry.
Mr Kadir will be replacing Mr Esa Masood, 42, who was appointed CE of Muis on Jan 1, 2019.
Mr Esa, who was the youngest ever chief when he was appointed as CE-designate in 2018, will be taking up another appointment in the public service.
The Public Service Commission scholarship holder read electrical engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) before securing a Master's degree in electrical engineering and computer science from MIT as well.
"As chief executive, Mr Esa's biggest challenge was the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, which brought with it severe disruptions to the socio-religious life of the Muslim community," said the ministry.
Under his leadership, Muis adapted to the Covid-19 pandemic by pivoting religious content, practices and engagement to the digital domain.
He helped facilitate the transition to home-based learning for madrasah teachers and students.
Mr Esa also led the Committee on Future Asatizah, setting the direction for efforts to strengthen and uplift the development of asatizahs, or religious teachers.
Notably, he helped implement the Postgraduate Certificate in Islam in Contemporary Societies programme, said MCCY.
The programme is a collaboration between Muis and local and overseas academic institutions to equip asatizah with the knowledge and skills to apply their Islamic knowledge and provide religious guidance in the Singapore context.
Mr Esa also led Muis in planning a sustainable income stream for the religious sector by developing the Wakaf Masyarakat Singapura, an endowment project to support socio-religious institutions built on the principles of Islamic philanthropy.
Wakaf is traditionally defined as the permanent dedication by a Muslim of any property for any purpose defined by Muslim law as religious and charitable. The concept has now evolved to be similar to a trust fund, where money is invested and the returns used to help the community.
Under the Administration of Muslim Law Act, Muis is the administrator of all wakaf in Singapore.